Are you shopping around and looking at telephone systems for your business? If this is all unfamiliar territory then you may very well be a bit stumped by the sheer number of options out there – each of which clamoring that it is the one and only definitive solution for your business.
Rather than simply stumbling around in the dark, you should approach finding a business telephone system methodically – using the following steps as your guide:
1. Identify the needs of your business
Remember your business telephone system is an extension of your overall communications and is meant to help you connect with your clients and customers as well as your staff. As such the first step is to identify what you need out of such as system.
Do you require cheap long distance calls? Do you regularly hold teleconferences? Are most of your staff using mobile phones or are you looking at a traditional phone system? Would you be using older technology such as fax? By going over every aspect of your business and outlining its needs you can come up with a shopping list of sorts.
2. Start to shortlist service providers
Armed with your shopping list, the next step is to start looking around and shortlisting service providers. In particular you should make sure that they can fulfill all the needs of your business and that their pricing is competitive.
Be sure to look for any fine print that may contain certain conditions or additional costs that may be incurred too. In many cases it is the fine print that really determines whether or not the features work as you expect, or fail to do so.
3. Analyze the differences between service providers
Once you have a shortlist you should look deeper into the services that each provider can offer and how well you think it will fit your business. Although many service providers may look similar from the surface, there are factors that will undoubtedly differ – such as their cost structure, customer service policies, and service guarantees.
Also be sure to pay close attention to call quality. With VoIP systems in particular the quality of calls can vary tremendously – and while some of that will be based on your internet connection, it can also be affected by the network of the service provider.
By carefully looking at each and every aspect of the business telephone systems that are being offered you should be able to settle on one that really does fit your needs. Alternatively you could look into hiring a consultant to help you out – just be sure that they are clear about your requirements beforehand.
The right telephone system should integrate seamlessly into your business and help fulfill all its communication needs. Increasingly these solutions incorporate instant messaging technology, encryption, authentication, and various other security measures too. Suffice to say, you should definitely be able to find something that fits your business – regardless of its size or scope.